A perfect day in Paris
Paris Travel Blog› entry 1 of 8 › view all entries
April 5th, 2007 – by: Maureenie
I was reeeaaalllly hungry when we got off the plane and tried to get something quick inside the airport... but everyone was getting in line in front of me, and I was tired and cranky, so we just left to figure out how to take the metro to our hotel. Everyone else was waiting in line in the ticket counter, but we realized we could just use the machine and saved a lot of time. We took the RER and then switched to a line that would take us to Les Halles. When we got above ground, a guy with an accordion got on our car and started playing for money.
We got off the metro at Les Halles and went up years of escalators. When we got off, Mary was kind of confused because she hadnâ€™t been there in a long time. It took us a really long time to get to the hotel because we had to drag our bags and there were a lot of people out.
The hotel we were staying in was a hotel that Mary had stayed in when she lived in Paris for a summer a few years ago called the Hotel Bellevue, OR, Chariot dâ€™Or. Itâ€™s gotta have two names, apparently. It was pretty old. Not in the greatest condition. The elevator was very old and had two doors like in the movies. We were staying on the sixth floor, though, so we used the old elevator a lot. There was no shower in the bathroom, just a big maroon bathtub and a thing you had to hold to wash yourself... and no shower curtain, so the water got everywhere. Apparently this is typical for France, however. And the bidet, which I still donâ€™t quite understand.
I was still really hungry because we hadnâ€™t eaten since the free breakfast at 6AM in Rome. We had settled in the city at that awkward time between lunch and dinner, but I was about to die from hunger. We walked around a LOT in La Marais, which is the area we were staying in (which is somehow both the gay district AND the Jewish district...?) and fought about where to go eat... some places looked surprisingly crowded... lots of people smoking that we wanted to sit away from... One Rue Montorgueil, which is an amazing street, and we found this little place that looked pretty rustic and didnâ€™t have hardly anyone in it.
We walked down Montorgueil, and Mary showed me all the restaurants on Rue Monmartre that Mary and her friends had worked at a few summers before. Some of them had changed, as happens in big cities, and I think it was a really nostalgic thing for her. Then we made our way to Saint Eustache and sat in the courtyard with the big head in it. I guess that big head is supposed to mark the â€śvery center of Paris,â€ť as is is in the first arrondissement, or so we had heard. The weather was sooo beautiful.
Then we went on a mission. A very important mission. To get gelato. Mary told me that there was the best gelato sheâ€™d ever had (even better than what we had just had in Italy).
So we walked to Les Halles, and the to and down the Seine. We walked through this street right across the sun on the right bank that was lined with floral shops. Another perfect moment. Paris is full of this. We made our way to ĂŽle Saint Louis, one of the two islands in the middle of the Seine, which I didnâ€™t realize were islands. We passed Notre Dame, a random tiny park, and a lot of expensive clothing stores. I really love this area, though. We were really tired from all the walking and so we went and sat at Notre Dame in the gardens on its side. It was perfect again. Everything in Paris is perfect. MAN...
But, of course, our mission was not to be forgotten.
After the Amorino was all gone (so sad), I vowed we would go back every day. We wandered slowly through the city back to our hotel, as we were very tired. Before stopping back in the hotel we went to the Monoprix down the street (French supermarket) and got some bits of food to last us between expensive meals. Well, I don't know if chocolate croissants and chocolate Prince cracker/cookie things count as real food, but whatever. Then laid around the hotel for a minute to take a break, and â€śfreshened up,â€ť as Mary likes to say, to go out to dinner.
For dinner we went back to Rue Montorgueil because it had brought us good luck before. We ate at a place across the street from where we ate lunch called Cafe de Commerce, or something like that. We couldnâ€™t remember exactly. Anyway, dinner here was fabulous, again. We sat outside in order to avoid as much smoke as possible (even though they have apparently passed non-smoking laws in Paris, you wouldnâ€™t know it). Dinner was served quickly and was absolutely delicious. Mary got duck, and I got lamb (two typical French dishes) with some delicious mashed potato thing on top. Really, really satisfying. We shared.
We went to bed early since we hadnâ€™t had much sleep the day before.
Overall, I was very, very happy to be in Paris.
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